Thursday 23 January 2014

GRONI to show sample of new website at Olympia

The General Register Office of Northern Ireland will be making its first-ever trip to WDYTYA?Live next month in order to exhibit a sample of its proposed website.

This is the much-anticipated online facility that will allow family historians with connections to the North of Ireland to search a database of scanned registers of births, marriages and deaths*.

"The new system will not be running by the end of February," GRONI's Alistair Butler told Irish Genealogy News. 'So there is no way we can 'hook' into it at the Show.

"Instead, the sample will demonstrate how the proposed search system works. We'll be using the births, marriages and deaths of historical characters such as the writer C S Lewis as examples."

While a 'live' version won't be up for scrutiny, there's a chance the launch date might be known by the time the doors open at Olympia. 

When the new website does finally go live, online researchers will be able to search and view 'historical' civil register entries. For legal reasons, 'historical' means births over 100 years, marriages over 75 years and deaths over 50 years. This rolling-year arrangement means we'll initially be able to view birth registrations up to 1913, marriages up to 1938 and deaths up to 1963.

Researchers making personal visits to GRONI's Belfast offices will use a parallel system to the public online, version so will not be restricted to the same notion of 'historical'; they will be given a bit more scope, with access to civil registration records up to 1973.

GRONI will be on Stand No 332 at WDYTYA?Live, which will be held at Olympia, London, 20-22 February. They are ready to be swamped!

* At present, all online facilities for Irish civil registration records hold only the indexes, leaving researchers having to purchase a copy of the register entry in order to see additional details.